I’m liking WiiWare more and more lately. Every time some cool indie PC game gets ported to the console I jump at the chance to play it. I’ve been waiting a year for And Yet it Moves to hit the store, and this week the dizzy little platformer finally went up. And while it might not be worth a purchase for people that already played it, those unfamiliar with this title should start paying attention.
And Yet it Moves is a deceptively simple premise. All you have to do is get your character to the end of the level. No boss battles, no hidden areas, no collectibles. The problem is that every level is an impassable maze of mountains, trees and caves. So what do you do?
And Yet it Moves originally came out for the PC back in Spring of 2009. The Wii version is mostly the same game, but with three extra levels and updated controls. Whereas in the PC version you could only move the world in 90 degree increments, the Wii version allows you to freely rotate the world as you please. Because it’s the same game as the PC game you’ll find yourself moving in 90ish degree increments anyway, but it’s nice to be able to do more than that.
The rotating world mechanic is what makes And Yet it Moves a unique and interesting platformer. Turning the environment on its head is used to do everything from crossing chasms, to running across ceilings, to defeating animals (my personal favorite was making a cheeky monkey throw poop into his own face). Sometimes you’ll have to time things right to get boulders to move out of the way (then not crush you to death when you rotate the world again).
You’ll die a lot in And Yet it Moves, so be prepared to watch your character shatter into a dozen pieces. The game never becomes frustratingly hard though, just challenging enough to warrant a few tries in each section.
There are four control schemes for the game, three of which use the Wii’s pointer or accelerometer. They all work to varying degrees, though I found that the classic controller offered the most precision. Using tilt controls tended to make it harder to get the world tilted just how you wanted it, though the controls are usually pretty forgiving in most levels, so it never really messed me up.
The game also has a unique visual style. The entire thing looks like a collage from images torn out of National Geographic. The main character is hideous, but everything else is cool because it works and everything looks organic and natural.
There are really only two problems with the game: it’s short, and it runs out of steam. The 20 levels don’t last very long (just a few short hours). However, each level does have a Time Trial mode, and there are achievements to earn. The other thing is that a lot of times the levels feel like they’ve been stretched out. Sections with easily navigated obstructions (like a boulder just sitting there) will act as these buffers between the cooler puzzles in the game. They’re just there, making me take longer to finish than necessary.
If you missed the PC version of this game last year, then you need to pick up And Yet it Moves for WiiWare (if only to support small artistic indie developers that are actually innovating). It’s a fun puzzling platformer that bleeds life into the genre. It is short, despite some unnecessary level padding, but definitely worth the price tag.